Uttlesford and Harlow district councils to debate formation of new shared services partnership

The formation of a shared service partnership which has the potential to save Harlow and Uttlesford Council taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds a year has moved a step closer. Both Harlow and Uttlesford District Councils are recommending that in principle a joint partnership for the administration of Council Tax, Business Rates and Benefits is entered into.

The feasibility study identifies the potential for the councils to save around £635,000 a year (Harlow £390,000, Uttlesford £245,000). These are indicative costs with further work being necessary to confirm the achievability of such savings and the cost of implementation.

Proservartner Point of View: There are two distinct strategies that UK Councils are taking in dealing with the comprehensive spending review.

  1. Make plans in advance of the review, to illustrate that the Council is proactive and considering cost reduction prior to the pressures that will be exerted: Here Uttlesford and Harlow are taking the initiative in planning shared services across the District Councils, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire Councils looking to save £2.4 million a year through shared services, Herefordshire Council have already announced £2.7 million savings from sharing services within the Borough, and Cornwall and Edinburgh Councils announcing significant saving targets!
  2. Wait until after the review to understand the weight of expectations, and the scale of the cost reductions required: A number of Councils are taking the “wait and see” approach to understand the sheer scale of the savings required prior to committing to cost reduction programs
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